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VW B5 Passat TDIs This is a general discussion about B5 Passat(>98 (2004-2005 in North America)). Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old April 24th, 2012, 00:33   #1
boomstriker
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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TDI(s): 00 jetta TDI
Default Engineered to be durable, or disposable???? balancer chain issues

I'm new to the forum and though I've owned only one vw lately, I've worked on them and most brands for many years. I own a small 'Specialty Automotive' shop west of St. Louis where I do mostly larger, more complicated repairs on the more sophisticated nameplates. Even as a younger guy, I was very intrigued by the latest technology coming from the exotic euro badges, but I was never of a fan of how they implimented it into production vehicles from a service standpoint. Fastforward 30 years to today and I've watched the euros (epecially VW/Audi) turn into over-engineered, over-priced, under-built, snap-together pieces of plastic crap, but this latest takes the cake.
Over the weekend I got a desperate call from a longtime vw customer who's 05 Passat left him and his family sitting on the freeway with no oil pressure while on vacation in Florida. I've maintained all of his 5 or more different TDIs over the years so he trusted to ask me if he was being scammed when the dealer said his still running car had a broken timing chain and needed a new engine and turbo for a mere $10,000!!! After some more details and a little research I knew what happened. He was comming home early with his family stuffed in a U-haul truck and the Passat in tow when I called him with the bad news using all the typical new German car terminology - "common problem", "yes, it is made of plastic", "they don't sell that part by itself", "you have to buy the whole assembly", "parts are outrageous" "special tools and procedures", blah blah blah.
Thank you to all who posted info on the issues with the chain design and the gear drive upgrade, but I have some questions.
The dealer says they don't know of a problem with the chain drive (lol) yet they made a gear drive for other models?
They said the crank gear isn't meant to be removed and was only available with a new crank- $1600???
They said the chain was no longer available by itself, only with the balancer assembly- $1500??? ***!
If he opts to go with the gear drive, does the balancer assembly come w/oil pump and a beefier hex drive or is that going to be the next failure??
Since a chain/sprocket/tensioner set will fix this one, is there a heavyduty aftermarket chain set available???
I expected to find a broken tensioner or seized balance shaft that took out the chain, but after tear down it was obvious. While they quadrupled the speed and added many more lbs. of rototating counter-mass to the original ALH chain design, they didn't make the chain any heavier. This isn't a metallurgy problem nor a defective batch problem, it's an engineering blunder that will doom any with higher miles or lots of idle time -when the crank speed varies the greatest during rotation causing constant slapping impact to the chain.
Any help will be appreciated.
Thanks!!
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Old April 24th, 2012, 01:49   #2
DeliveryValve
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First off, welcome to the forum! There is plenty to read here about the Balance Shaft issue and will answer many of your questions.
The following links will have the BS module replacement procedure.
This one in a .pdf file.
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=233651

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/b...eplacement.htm



Quote:
Originally Posted by boomstriker View Post
The dealer says they don't know of a problem with the chain drive (lol) yet they made a gear drive for other models?
As you found out, almost all VW dealers are clueless of this issue and swear it is not an issue. In fact, some dealers don't even know a B5.5 TDI ever existed!


Quote:
Originally Posted by boomstriker View Post
They said the crank gear isn't meant to be removed and was only available with a new crank- $1600???
That's horse pucky. The procedure is to "pop" off chain sprocket and then slip on a heated gear drive sprocket. No need to replace the crank unless you are rebuilding the bottom end and crank is not in spec to be cleaned up. Then in that case, a $2300 short block would be the best route to take.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boomstriker View Post
They said the chain was no longer available by itself, only with the balancer assembly- $1500??? ***!
Yes the chain parts are NLA. The new balance shaft module is a GEARED assembly that cost less than $1,500.00.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boomstriker View Post
If he opts to go with the gear drive, does the balancer assembly come w/oil pump and a beefier hex drive or is that going to be the next failure??
The new geared BSM comes with an oil pump. The hex shaft is basically the same size. There there an added reliability to the hex shaft as the gear driven BSM provides a consistent rotation to the hex shaft. Where else with the chain slop, the hex shaft gets battered and is the cause of it wallowing out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boomstriker View Post
Since a chain/sprocket/tensioner set will fix this one, is there a heavyduty aftermarket chain set available???
No.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boomstriker View Post
I expected to find a broken tensioner or seized balance shaft that took out the chain, but after tear down it was obvious. While they quadrupled the speed and added many more lbs. of rototating counter-mass to the original ALH chain design, they didn't make the chain any heavier. This isn't a metallurgy problem nor a defective batch problem, it's an engineering blunder that will doom any with higher miles or lots of idle time -when the crank speed varies the greatest during rotation causing constant slapping impact to the chain.
You hit it on the nail.



.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 03:30   #3
owr084
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Contact tdiclub member "Oilhammer" - Brian is local to you in the St Louis area. Between him and mogolf, they are the most knowledgeable on the bsm issue.
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Last edited by owr084; April 24th, 2012 at 18:15.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 05:39   #4
thundershorts
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if the engine ran more than a few seconds with no oil pressure, and most likely it did if the customer had someone look at it after it failed, the prudent route may be to zero time the lower end with the new short block,eliminating the possibility of residual crud, especially on an engine with the 140k or more miles. at the same time pop in a tc, it it hasn't already had one done recently or at all.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 14:41   #5
boomstriker
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington MO
TDI(s): 00 jetta TDI
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Thanks for all the info guys!!
Any suggestions to supply a gear kit?? -I found quite a few net stores and some eb listings.
Thanks again!!!
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Old April 24th, 2012, 14:58   #6
oilhammer
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We get all ours from Dick Dean in Ballwin. They have everything you need on the shelf, just as Mark or Rich for a 'BHW balance shaft upgrade kit'. 636.227.6527

You'll need some special tools, but nothing drastic. And yes, it IS common, they ALL will eventually break, and the dealers ARE clueless. But at least Dean knows because of me.

If it broke, though, chances are it will need more work than just the upgraded parts. May need a crankshaft, bearings, turbo, who knows. I fix far too many of these AFTER they break, and it is totally avoidable.
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